New partnership will increase affordable and accessible housing in Washington state

A row of newly constructed one-story rambler-style homes, with covered porches. The focal point of the photo is two houses with green grass and young trees in the foreground. One house is tan, and the other has medium green tones. Both houses have white trim around the windows and porch.
A new partnership will help build more affordable and accessible housing units in Washington state, such as the homes pictured above.

Release date: May 1, 2023

DSHS Office of Communications

Lisa Pemberton, Media Relations Manager

lisa.pemberton@dshs.wa.gov

360–902–7844

More affordable and accessible housing will be available soon for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Washington state.

The Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Commerce and the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council are working together to fulfill about $19 million worth of affordable and accessible housing contracts. The contracts were awarded to community organizations and will be funded through the Dan Thompson Memorial Developmental Disabilities Community Services Account, which is managed by DSHS, along with the Housing Trust Fund, which is managed by Commerce.

The partnership will result in the development of approximately 14 affordable housing units, significant accessibility renovations on three single-family homes to promote independence, substantial facility modifications to create a six-bed stabilization program for adults and 22 fully furnished multi-family units in a newly established apartment complex. Each of the housing options are specifically designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and include accessibility features such as ramps, roll-in showers, lowered countertops, Hoyer lift tracks and widening of doorways.

A woman is sitting at a kitchen island. She has a big smile on her face. There is a refrigerator in the background, and a decoration that says “Home” in the window above the doorway that is in the background.
It’s estimated that 37,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face housing insecurity in the state, according to a recent DSHS report. It’s not just about affordability — more accessibility housing options such as ramps, roll-in showers, lowered countertops are needed in the state.

“This partnership is the first of its kind in Washington, and we are thrilled to be part of it,” said DSHS Interim Assistant Secretary Tonik Joseph, who oversees the DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration. “Many people dream of having a home of their own, in a community where they want to live. It’s the ultimate form of independence, and we’re excited to help make those dreams come true for our clients.”

It’s estimated that 37,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face housing insecurity in the state, according to a recent DSHS report. Those who live with aging caregivers may struggle to find alternatives when a caregiver dies or is unable to continue providing support. Without affordable and accessible housing options, people who seek community-based living may turn to settings that are less independent than desired, not accessible or more expensive than they can afford.

As part of the partnership, DSHS, Commerce and the DDC are collaborating with organizations and developers across the state to create more accessible and affordable housing options.

An interior wall inside a home, with several framed photographs, mostly of groups of people, and stickers on the wall that say “Home is where the happiest memories are made.” There is also a metal tree sculpture on the wall.
“Many people dream of having a home of their own, in a community where they want to live,” said DSHS Interim Assistant Secretary Tonik Joseph, who oversees the DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration. “It’s the ultimate form of independence, and we’re excited to help make those dreams come true for our clients.”

“From the inception of this partnership, we knew that individuals with lived experience participated in the program design. We are grateful for the trust placed in us to carry forward the vision by investing in housing solutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Commerce Assistant Director Corina Grigoras, who leads the department’s Housing Division. “Already we’re seeing a positive impact in communities across the state by increasing the pool of developers with the desire and capacity to take on these much-needed projects.”

View DDA’s video on the affordable and accessible homes partnership.

--

--